Poland: Selectmen name two members to marijuana committee

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POLAND — Selectmen this week named board members Mary-Beth Taylor and James Walker to the Recreational Marijuana Use Committee.

Selectman Joe Cimino voted in opposition to Walker, saying Walker is opposed to “marijuana in any shape and form … and that’s not what we need on the committee.”

Walker said he doesn’t want to see Poland turn into a “pot town,” which in his view could discourage other businesses from moving in.

Selectperson Suzette Moulton supported Walker’s seat on the committee. She said, “I do feel that each time I hear you (Walker) speak about something, that, for you the town is very important to you and what you want is best for our town.”

Moulton said Walker has an open mind, that he does the research, reads and listens to both sides of any issue.

Chairman Walter Gallagher underscored that the job of the committee is to help draft the ordinances which would govern the growth, sale and use of marijuana in the community. He said townspeople would “ultimately decide what takes place.”

Eight other Poland residents will also serve on the committee, together with a member of the Planning Board and the Community and Economic Development Committee. The first meeting of the marijuana committee is at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 12.

In other action Tuesday night, selectmen agreed with the Planning Board that a streetlight will not be needed at Poland Corner and Harris Hill roads.

Town Manager Matthew Garside said he communicated with the Maine Department of Transportation on the matter because Harris Hill Road is a state road. The MDOT had agreed to do a traffic study to see if a four-way stop would make more sense.

Selectmen agreed to install a streetlight at the Winterbrook Road and Route 11 intersection. CMP said the cost would be $126.82 a year and there would be no installation charge.

Selectmen approved the bid by Northlight Electric of Poland to replace the lighting in the Town Office with LED fixtures. The cost would be no higher than $5,000 and a substantial part of the cost would be offset by a rebate from Efficiency Maine.

Selectmen tabled further discussion on installing a fire hydrant on a commercial lot owned by Cimino on Route 26 until after the Tax Increment Financing amendments are decided at a special town meeting at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 13, at the Town Hall.

Garside emphasized that at least 100 voters are required to meet the quorum for a special town meeting.

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